In my nine years as a Councillor, I’ve argued repeatedly that Council meetings should largely be in the evening, just like most Greater Manchester Councils (of all political hues) do. Here’s a post from 2010 on this website, and also one from 2008 and one from 2007 for good measure. It’s good for democracy that more local residents are able to attend and contribute to meetings, and it’s good for the running of the Council that those in full-time employment are able to stand for Council.
Unfortunately, Salford Labour and their vested interests have resisted this particular democratic advance time after time after time. They’ve even tried to remove ways that those unable to attend meetings can keep up with proceedings – banning Twitter and preventing recording of open public meetings come to mind immediately. Now, belatedly, we’re having a small trial. Better late than never, but it’s extremely galling to see Labour Councillors try to claim credit for this when it is Salford Labour who have resisted evening meetings every step of the way.
The Regeneration Scrutiny Committee meets tomorrow (Thursday 23rd May) at 5.30pm in Committee Room 4 at the Civic Centre in Swinton. Click here to view the agenda. If you’re free, do pop along and show the Council that there is an appetite for evening meetings.